Top film execs gather at Zurich Summit to discuss state of int’l biz – Deadline


Former Lionsgate film chief Patrick Wachsberger, Carol producer Christine Vachon, Neon CEO Tom Quinn and SPC bosses Michael Barker and Tom Bernard will be among industry executives taking part in the Zurich Summit tomorrow [Saturday 24] in Switzerland.

The Zurich Film Festival’s flagship industry event, an all-day confab about the state of the independent film business, will gather around 100 top film professionals. Scroll down for the lineup and schedule in full.

As the Zurich Summit’s official media partner, Deadline will be on the ground covering and moderating panels, as well as providing exclusive interviews with key executives via the Deadline Studio. We’ll also have video from key panels.

The conference kicks off with the discussion ‘How To Finance Independent Films In The Age Of Streamers’ and a panel comprising UTA agent Alex Brunner, Memento International/Paradise City CEO Emilie Georges, Walden Media president and CEO Frank Smith, Killer Films co-president Christine Vachon and Picture Perfect Federation founder Wachsberger.

Other topics on the table will include transatlantic production, with Bert Hamelinck, head of films and global MD at Belgian-U.S. film and TV group Caviar, CAA Media Finance’s Benjamin Kramer, Elysian Film Group CEO Danny Perkins and Hype Studios founder Ilya Stewart.

Le Grisbi Production founder and president John Lesher, Kingsgate Films producer Greg Shapiro and European Film Academy CEO Matthijs Wouter Knol will be among those crystal ball gazing in a discussion entitled ‘What Does The Award Season Of The Future Look Like?’

The pressing post-pandemic issue of ‘How To Find An Audience For Arthouse Films?’ will also be on the table with insights from Christian Bräuer, MD of top German indie exhibition group Yorck Kinogruppe, and A24 acquisitions and distribution executive David Laub, among others.

Additional topics include the current challenges around securing qualified and skilled crew amid the production boom. Speakers on the issue will be Sandra Bühler, Netflix’s director for original film in the EMEA region, Scott Franklin, producer at Darren Aronofsky’s Protozoa Pictures, Kim Magnusson, producer and head of creative at Scandinavian Film Distribution, Anna Rózalksa, co-founder and producer Match & Stark, and Sven Wälti, head of film at Swiss broadcaster SRG SSR.

In the final panel of the day, Orion president Alana Mayo, Neon CEO and founder Tom Quinn, Library Pictures chief executive David Taghioff and Anonymous Content president Robert Walak will offer advice on how to future-proof business.

Michael Barker (left) and Tom Bernard
© Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

This year’s summit will see Sony Pictures Classics (SPC) co-presidents Michael Barker and Tom Bernard honored with the ZFF’s Game Changer Award in recognition of their outstanding achievements within the film industry as they fete the 30th anniversary of their company’s creation.

The pair will reflect on SPC’s trajectory at the summit in conversation with CAA Media Finance co-head Roeg Sutherland.

The event wraps on Sunday evening with the annual Zurich Summit dinner, at which the duo will be honored and presented with their award. Sunday will also see the return of the annual industry tennis tournament.

For a full run-down of the day’s schedule click here.




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